2014-10-13 08:14

Trends on the Russian internet

Russian internet users most often turn to their local search engines and are more eager to visit social networking sites compared to last year, and seek audio-visual, informative and technology-related content – the June data of Gemius suggests.

Russians prefer their local search engines

Nearly all network users in Russia (67 m out of 70 m persons) visit websites offering search tools. The largest Russian search engine,, is the choice of eight in every ten online audience members (57 m). Slightly less visitors are attracted by (56.3 m), a portal providing e-mail services apart from a search engine. The local search engines top list ends with, which is visited by every sixth internet user in Russia (12.7 m).

Such impressive popularity of the local search engines is commented by Jadwiga Rogoża, an analyst specializing in Russian issues at the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW):

“Russians have opted for their local search engines – adapted to the language, habits and needs – for years. These websites, like, often render a broad range of other services: mailbox, social networking tab, sub-pages with humorous content, TV and cinema programs, etc - says Jadwiga Rogoża".

Compared to last year, there’s been an increased interest in the search engine provided by the American competitor – Google. One year ago, it was used by five in ten runet users (54 per cent), and now it’s almost seven out of ten (67 per cent). Contrasted with June 2013 (17 per cent), the search engine has suffered some loss in its audience (9 per cent). Why Russians are more eager to use the western solutions? According to Jadwiga Rogoża, the progressing politicization of the web may sway some of the “enlightened” internet users to choose websites that are free of censorship.

Social media are in

The analyses allow to conclude that almost 85 per cent of internet users in Russia visit social networking websites (59 m). The American Facebook is used by three out of ten members of the runet population (20 m), while the similar service called VKontakte – by seven in ten online individuals (49.7 m). Furthermore, over a half of the Russian internet users visit (37.8 m).

Every sixth runet user visits the blogging platform (11.4 m) at least once a month, and every seventh – Twitter (9.7 m) or (9.6 m). Instagram enjoys the attention of every tenth Russian user (7.8 m). Similar result has been noted for the dating service (6.9 m). 

Cutting edge technology on the rise

Websites dealing with IT and mobile telephony have noted the largest amount of visitors compared to the analogous period of the previous year. While in June 2013, less than half of the online audience entered these websites (45 per cent), at present (June 2014) they are used by six in every ten online individuals.

Currently, the most popular modern technology website is a free website creator called (20.4 m) and the hosting services platform (15 m). These have noted more runet users than software providers’ websites, i.e. (12.4 m) and (9 m), or the free web browser Mozilla Firefox’s website (11.4 m).

Moreover, one in every eight internet users in Russia visit corporate websites of the country’s largest mobile operators. The largest audience was recorded on the platform (8.4 m), which belongs to Mobile TeleSystem, and the website (8.2 m), featuring the service offer by MegaFon.

Russian internet users seek entertainment

Enjoyable pastime activities are also the subject attracting a growing number of runet population (61 per cent), compared to the previous year (54 per cent). Over a half of internet users visit YouTube (38 m), and the film catalogue – is browsed by every seventh (9.6 m).

Among the online Russians, the most popular online location is a file exchange website – (7.8 m), the VoD service (6.6 m) and a portal with music files – (6.4 m).

Russians value information

It also turns out that news websites are viewed by almost a half of Russian internet users (53 per cent). One year ago, in the analogous period, such services were slightly less popular (50 per cent).

The greatest user interest in this category was noted for the weather forecast portal A quarter of Russian online population (18.7 m) visit the site. Every sixth web user entered the government agency website (11.3 m), and a business news portal called (9.9 m). The online version of the government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta,, enjoys visits paid by 13 per cent of runet users (9.2 m). Only a slightly smaller group of users browse news on (8.8 m), and (8.7 m each). The ranking list of the forty most popular websites in Russia closes with (6.3 m).

Online shopping on a decline

The analysis also shows that auction services are visited by exactly a half of runet users, but it must be noted that the share of e-shoppers was higher last year (54 per cent). Every third internet user in Russia visits (22.8 m), one in five – (14 m), and every eighth – (9 m). Other popular sites are (8.1 m) and (7.3 m).

The free-of-charge online encyclopedia,, is browsed by one-third of runet population (24.7 m), and the website run by the Russia’s biggest bank,, by one-fifth of Russian internet users (14 m).

The data quoted originates from an international project (gemiusAudience) conducted by Gemius in more than 30 countries. It aims to research into the number and demographic profile of internet users and the manner in which they utilize the web. The study is performed according to Gemius proprietary hybrid methodology and in accordance with the ICC/ESOMAR international code of conduct.

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